Fires Strike Two Texas Refineries

11.04.2016 -

Two fires that broke out at the respective refineries of LyondellBasell and ExxonMobil in the Houston, Texas, area on Apr. 7 and 8 are believed to have caused extensive damage, but no injuries.

The news agency Reuters reported that the fire at LyondellBasell in the Houston Shipping Channel will force the company to reduce its overall output by as much as 25%. It is expected to take up to a month to fix an older 42,000 bbl/day coker that was damaged in the blaze.

Refinery production at the ExxonMobil Baytown complex continued uninterrupted, the company said, adding that there will be an investigation into the fire, for which no cause had been determined as of Sunday evening.

As a precaution, the two US petrochemical giants are carrying out air monitoring operations around the plants and in the nearby communities, in cooperation with local fire brigades.

The ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown is the second-largest of its kind in the US and includes downstream chemical plant processing facilities. According to Reuters, the fire erupted at a lube oil hydrotreating unit in a 20,000 barrel-per-day section of the refinery that produces diesel fuel.  No damage estimate has been given as yet for either fire.